– Hello Spring –
People get in a twist with the seasons and the solstices and the equinoxes. If we carve the year into four seasons of three months each, then Spring starts on the first of March and runs through April and May.
In the Alsace vineyards the last of the pruning takes place, especially with the younger vines. If serious field work has gone on, then the soil that was ploughed over the the vine feet for winter protection, is now moved back off to allow the soil to aerate and heat up.
Bud break usually happens towards the end of March. Then the first leaves start appearing in April. The main page banner photo and photo below, were taken in late April last year. These are vines near Andlau with 3-4 leaves already nicely developed.
And as temperatures move up in the cellar, the gentle bubbling of fermentation can kick in with the wines that didn’t ferment through to dry before winter.
With Spring comes news of the Alsace Natural Wine salons. The kind of wines, producers and attitudes we are close to. First out the gate is the VertigVineux mini-fair, scheduled for the 13th and 14th of April in Ostheim. Next we hear that the Vins Libérés group are setting a date for the second edition of the Summer Fascht, this is for sometime in July. You can check out our report of edition one which was held in 2017 here. To keep the good news coming, the organising group behind the Brute(es) salon, have set the dates to hold edition two on the 2nd and 3rd of November, web site here.
We reported on the 2018 Vins Libres salon and the inaugural Brut(es) salon, right here for some background and a bunch of cool photos.
All good signs that the Alsace natural wine community is alive and kicking.
The Lost In Alsace Project is focused on two main areas; providing a platform for “les vignerons artisans d’Alsace” and secondly, a follow up and reporting of the major events, twists and turns and initiatives that shape what matters with Alsace wine today. As with any “old world” wine region, there are plenty of issues, degrees of bull-shit, and bad attitudes stuck in the industrial agricultural recent past. We will be giving all that sort of stuff a body swerve as we firmly focus on all that vibrant, forward looking energy, that is currently buzzing in the region.
We are big supporters of producers who practice organic or biodynamic husbandry in the vineyards. In fact, that is the base for our interest. And we love winemakers that carry this attitude through to techniques in the cellar; with natural fermentations, the use of traditional and non-traumatising physical methods, and a healthy disrespect for the use of additives. These are the foundations that allow winemakers the opportunity to express a sense of terroir, a sense of product (wine) that comes from a place, from a time with the input of human skills and attitudes.
Three shades of red from Lucas Rieffel – captured by Mona Neilson – website here